Tuesday, March 01, 2005

UPDATE: - Album Song Poll & "Don't Be Denied"

Time Fades Away fans have spoken and their favorite song on the album is "Don't Be Denied". Surprise!

Visitors to the Release Petition page voted in favor of "Don't Be Denied" about 31%.

DBD was closely followed by three other songs: "Last Dance", The Bridge" and "L.A." each with about 13% of the total 660 votes cast.
Here's the complete vote breakdown:

Don't Be Denied - 30.9%

L.A. - 12.9%
The Bridge - 12.9%
Last Dance - 12.9%

Time Fades Away - 7.9%
Love In Mind - 7.6%
Yonder Stands the Sinner - 7.5%
Journey Through the Past - 7.3%

It's interesting that there is a very distinct breakdown into three tiers of votes: 1) DBD 2) "Last Dance", The Bridge" and "L.A." and 3) "Time Fades Away", "Love In Mind", "Yonder Stands the Sinner", and "Journey Through the Past". And interesting how tightly clustered the vote packs are.

As for DBD's popularity among Neil fans, it's probably no surprise -- what with those classic lines about Neil lying on his back in the schoolyard with the punches coming fast and hard. I guess we can all relate to playground bullies...

But probably the most interesting aspect of DBD is the legendary "Oh Canada" verse.

The verse appears on the album liner lyrics, yet doesn't make it onto the actual album itself? See Neil's handwritten lyrics.

The "lost" verse that begins "Oh Canada, we played all night...." is dissected in detail in Broken Arrow Magazine (Vol #96, p.56) by Scott Sandie and Giovanni Pompili.

From a review by Robert Christgau:

"The opener, 'Don't Be Denied' is an anthem of encouragement to young hopefuls everywhere that doesn't shrink from laying open fame and its discontents."

From a review of the journey Through the Past film by Janet Maslin, New York Times:

"His film has a certain amount in common with his new live album, Time Fades Away. The album, like the film, has a very raw feel to it, as though Neil were deliberately trying to shake off the perfectionism of his past efforts. The album, like the film, is more expressive than it is articulate, but the real stylistic departure is one of mood--the vocals are wild, agonized, deliberately jarring.

The backing musicians play less than perfectly because they're playing live, but their gut intensity is an ideal match for Young's new strained sound. Also Time Fades Away contains one of his all-time great songs, 'Don't Be Denied'; the song mixes autobiographical verses with a chorus that chants the title warning, all adding up to a wail of epic frustration.

It's Young's most emotional, most personal song to date, probably his most moving -- and the song, even more than his new interest in filmmaking, seems to mark a crucial turning point in his career.

Neil Young, rock-and-roll groundhog, may finally be ready to emerge."

In the Tonight's the Night liner notes on the 5th November, 1973 concert at London's Rainbow Theatre:

"Don't Be Denied", the song for Danny develops into a terrible, deep-reaching event. The playing is awful but the emotion is great Neil is incapable of putting any structure into his guitar-playing instead, he comes across as a man possessed, hair flying, pounding his guitar, jumping and screaming: "Oh friend of mine, don't be denied, don't be denied, don't be denied."

Confused, he comes up to the microphone and begins to talk gently: "You buy a newspaper on the street in the morning, and you open it at page two straightaway because you can't read page one....photos of all the people....now I'm in the desert....The Americans are there. Let's think about the desert this evening. In the desert there's a lion, some people are standing on one side on the lion and some on the other. Everybody knows what I'm talking about, so everybody can draw their own conclusions. We're going to play a song, ladies and gentlemen, to try to cheer ourselves up. It wasn't very good in the desert was it? I didn't like it much there anyway".

Lots of interesting comments on the petition. Here's a sample:

#325 - Fons van den Eeckhout: "I seem to be one of the lucky few who
have a good vinyl copy of the album; recently I reinstalled my
LP-player and have been playing the album regularly. It's superb! a
lot of very good songs, but Don't be Denied is certainly the best."

#441 - Toby Nelson: "TFA is my favorite Neil album. I found a used
vinyl copy a couple of years ago and I nearly wore it out the first
weekend listening to it. "Don't Be Denied" is one of the most powerful
songs ever. Please release it, so that this album won't just fade

And tons more comments on TFA songs.